News / Economy

US Jobless Rate Hits 5-Year Low, but Hiring Slows

US Unemployment Rate Falls, But Job Gains Also Dropi
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January 11, 2014 1:49 AM
The rate of job growth declined in the United States in December even as the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 to 6.7 percent. The net gain in jobs fell from 200,000 to just 74,000 last month. While some investors are disappointed, most economists say the U. S. job situation will gradually improve over the next year or so. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Related video report by Jim Randle

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The U.S. jobless rate dropped sharply in December to 6.7 percent, its lowest point in more than five years, but employers added just 74,000 new workers to their payrolls.

The government said Friday that unemployment dropped from 7 percent in November.

However, the U.S. labor statistics chief, Erica Groshen, said two-thirds of the decline in the jobless rate was accounted for by workers ending their search for new jobs, and thus not being counted by the government in the jobless number.  

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US Unemployment Rate
US Unemployment Rate
She told a congressional economic panel the reason for the dip in the jobless rate is a troubling sign for the U.S. economy.

"It's not as robust a sign as if the fall in unemployment had come from creation of a lot of jobs.... It's certainly not a sign of strength."

The country's unemployment rate has been above 7 percent since the first signs of the country's steep recession in late 2008, but declined 1.2 percentage points over the course of 2013.

Economists had predicted that the labor market would add 191,000 jobs last month after robust hiring in October and November. But the scant number of new workers signaled that the U.S. economy slowed in the final weeks of 2013.

The U.S. economy has been steadily, if somewhat unevenly, advancing over the last several months.

Janet Yellen, who takes over next month as chair of the Federal Reserve, the country's central bank, says policy makers are hopeful that the American economy will advance by 3 percent or more this year. That would be up from the 2.6 percent figure recorded through the first nine months of 2013.

For more than a year, the Fed purchased securities worth $85 billion a month to pump more money into the economy in an attempt to boost job growth and keep interest rates low. But now, as the recovery from the country's recession gains some strength, the central bank has started to trim its direct support of the economy. It cut purchase of the securities this month to $75 billion, and policy makers have planned to end the program over the course of 2014 if the economy keeps advancing.

However, December's weak job growth could lead the Fed to rethink its strategy.

Even as the economy has improved, 10.4 million workers remain unemployed, many of them for lengthy periods of time. U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers in Congress remain locked in a dispute over whether to extend unemployment compensation to the long-term unemployed.

About 1.3 million workers lost their benefits in late December, and more would in the coming months if the program is not extended.

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by: FAMULLA from: Tanzania
January 24, 2014 6:14 AM
I once had a friend who worked as a lobbyist. Our meetings gave me a sense that I was before the representative of a strange, migratory tribe. This tribe clusters around centres of power (Washington, Brussels, London), dresses a certain way, talks a certain way, uses a language drawn from newspapers that write a certain way and is honed at universities that function a certain way.

My tribesman-lobbyist friend equally seemed to have no appreciation that what he belonged to was just “a tribe”, among others. He spoke of “the world”, as though it were this self-evidently flat, standardised and minutely controlled space to which he seemed to hold some special key.


by: Firozali A.Mullar from: Tanzania
January 24, 2014 5:46 AM
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put off a fresh round of quota reforms by a year till January 2015 since it is yet to effect a change proposed in the previous round.

The Fund today blamed the United States for not not meeting the deadline for quota reforms that would have raised quota share of developing countries by over six percentage points.

India, which will be beneficiary of the new structure, has been insistent on carrying out reforms at the earliest.

"Given the delay (of the 14th round), the Executive Board has concluded that additional time will be needed to complete its work on the Fifteenth Review," IMF said in a press statement here.

The fund said 47 countries of its 188 members have not yet accepted the changes suggested in the 14th round. In this connection, the approval by the United States is important since 85% votes are needed to implement the reforms and US has over 15% of vote share.

"Acceptance by the United States is needed to reach the required acceptance threshold for the Board Reform Amendment," the statement by IMF said.

The Congress is yet to support the reforms even as the White House has requested it.


by: Firozali A.Mullar from: Tanzania
January 12, 2014 6:30 AM
The contraction in production was mainly led by a decline in output of manufacturing, which occupies the largest share in the industrial production

Inflation data points next week will be show stopper next week in terms of triggers, along with the slew of earnings. Owing to cooling off of key vegetable prices such in December food inflation could start to moderate and it is expected to bring down Whole sale Price Indexed inflation figures. Chairman of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council C Rangarajan expects WPI to come down to around 6-6.5 per cent in December.

“Market has not maintained its momentum in 2014 as it attempts to decode the impact of AAP’s rise on BJP’s general election tally and minutes of US Fed’s meeting on liquidity. The coming week will see rangebound as inflation is likely to remain at elevated levels and market fears that RBI governor may have one more hike left up his sleeve,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

HDFC Bank, ITC, Wipro, Axis Bank, TCS, Bajaj Auto are the major heavyweights to come out with their third quarter results in the coming week. Stock-specific activity could dominate the headlines.

“Post breaking down from a rising trend line on the daily scale Nifty has still managed to sustain above the significant support of 6120. It oscillated within a narrow range throughout the week, within the band of 6120-6240. For the coming week, 6240-6360 is the likely resistance zone. Traders are advised to exercise caution while trading on the long side & enforce strict stop loss at 6120 going forward. A failure of this support could push Nifty towards 5920,” says Rahul Shah, vice-president, Equity Advisory Group of Motilal Oswal.


by: Ian from: USA
January 11, 2014 2:14 PM
"However, the U.S. labor statistics chief, Erica Groshen, said two-thirds of the decline in the jobless rate was accounted for by workers ending their search for new jobs, and thus not being counted by the government in the jobless number. "
Finally , someone tells us the truth instead of distorts & plays the number to mislead the population.
We have to stop subsidize the job growth in China with our own fellow citizens' job lost (.Just look at the ratio of population of the two countries, China has 4 times the number of peoples, yet they did not buy 4 times what we bought from them .
In 2012, Americans imported 425.6 billion from China . Did we see china imported 4 times that number from us in proportion with the population ratio (which would be 1.702 trillion) No, Chinese imported only 110.6 billion from the US (about 16 times less than a win/win situation)
If we don't buy American products , we kill our neighbors' jobs, destroy their families and ultimately one day, our own.
Don't think you get a good deal with cheap stuffs, you get what you pay for . As an example, years ago , I bought an American made stainless steel water distiller, it lasted more than 10 years with all the abuses & basic maintenance, never rusted . Recently, I bought from the same company again (with assumption that it is still made in USA) , turn out the company now outsourcing the production to China, even it suppose to be stainless steel, it rusted all over in less than 3 months, specially the condensing pipe. God knows, it may have lead, cadmium or whatever impure metal in it ! I throw it away .
So buy American products whenever and if you can still find them .


by: Michael Hynes from: Copperas cove TX
January 11, 2014 9:09 AM
What are you people waiting on
people need that money I could lose my home if you don't extent benefits. Thank you.

In Response

by: Firozali A.Mullar from: Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania
January 24, 2014 5:38 AM
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past three or so years, health care reform is a subject that you have heard about from numerous sources, each of whom has his own distinct opinion. Depending on the source of your information, you have likely heard the terms Affordable Care Act, ACA and Obamacare.

What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on the vast majority of the country? As a health care provider, an employee, and as the CEO of a Physical Therapy company, I have been exposed to all three sides of this puzzle. Three sides? Yes, there are three sides. The three sides of the puzzle are: 1) the consumer of health care, 2) the provider of health insurance (usually the employer) and 3) the health care provider.

As a health care provider, little is known about how the ACA will be affecting our health care industry. What the health care industry is aware of are the recent trends from government-funded programs such as Medicare.

The recent trends from Medicare have been reduction in payments for the health care services we provide. This is combined with the trend that more paperwork has to be done to get reimbursed for the services provided.

In Response

by: Firozali A.Mullar from: Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania
January 24, 2014 5:29 AM
We are all heading for cash " Call it ti or bribe " THE Indian wayWhile such scams are not new, the scale of the alleged transgressions is unprecedented. According to one estimate, the potential loss to the Indian economy due to high profile corruption cases from October 2011 to September 2012 alone was approximately 364 billion rupees or $6 billion. The scams have tarnished the image of an emerging India, harming global investor confidence at a time when domestic inflation is high and the rupee underperforming.
Corruption has also had an enormous human and social cost on daily life in India. In 2013, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer report, out of 114,000 people surveyed in 107 countries, 54 percent of Indians reported having paid a bribe to access public services or institutions compared to 27 percent respondents globally. Indians reported having paid bribes to the police, to access utilities, for registry, permit and land services, as well as in sectors such as education and healthcare.
Corruption is also rife in the implementation of many pro-poor and social welfare schemes. In the 1980s, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi famously stated that only 15 paise out of every rupee allocated by the government for development made it to the end beneficiary. Studies and audits conducted by civil society organizations and government oversight agencies repeatedly illustrate the siphoning of funds allocated for social development in programs such as the national rural employment guarantee scheme (providing 100 days guaranteed employment to rural wage earners), mid-day meal scheme (the world’s largest school feeding program), and the public distribution system (that provides subsidized food grains to poor rural and urban households). The impact of this is self-evident. India has some of the lowest human development indicators in South Asia with high rates of hunger, malnutrition (nearly 48 percent of children under the age of five, according to government statistics), and maternal and infant mortality.

In Response

by: famullar from: Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania
January 18, 2014 7:12 PM
At least 21 people, including two Americans, were killed Friday evening in a commando-style attack by Taliban insurgents on a popular Lebanese restaurant in the Afghan capital, local officials said Saturday.

The attack, one of the deadliest in Kabul in years, began when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the restaurant gate just after 7 p.m. Friday, according to the Interior Ministry. Gunmen then entered and started shooting in the busy dining room.

After a sporadic exchange of gunfire that lasted nearly two hours, security forces said they had shot dead the two attackers inside.

“The U.S. Embassy has confirmed that at least two private U.S. citizens were among the victims of last night’s terrorist attack in Kabul,” officials said in a tweet Saturday. The pair had been teaching at the private American University of Afghanistan, in Kabul, the embassy said.

State Department spokes­woman Jen Psaki said the dead did not include any members of the U.S. Embassy staff in Kabul.

Hashmat Stanekzai, a spokesman for Kabul’s police command, said police had established that 13 foreigners and eight Afghans were killed in the attack. He said five of the victims were women, four of them expatriates.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, asserted responsibility for the attack. In a statement, the Taliban said the assault was to avenge the killings of a group of civilians who died in a U.S. airstrike earlier this week northwest of Kabul.

Among those killed was the owner of the restaurant, Kamal Hamade, Interior Ministry officials said. Four Afghan employees of the United Nations lost their lives, as did the International Monetary Fund’s country director, Wabel Abdallah, who, like Hamade, was Lebanese, news reports said.

In Response

by: famullar from: Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania
January 18, 2014 8:47 AM
The child always wanted to have his way. And if he did not get what he wanted he blew the house down. One day the parent took him to the doctor. The child cried and told the doctor, “I want to eat mosquitoes”. The doctor asked the nurse to get some mosquitoes. Child said, “Please boil these” They were boiled; He picked all except one and threw the rest. In the plate there was one only. He told the doctor to eat the half. Doctor wanting the fees, ate half and. The child screamed, “You ate my half” ooooo Well, that is what our politicians are. Give they ask for more. Science is hard, and the real world is not waiting for these students with open arms. However, this article was eye opening and has encouraged me to provide a more supportive environment for my undergraduate engineers while they are learning the ropes. No question self-motivation trumps what we as educators do in the classroom or lab, but self-motivation isn't always enough when the challenges are hard and there is no positive feedback. Yes, our priorities as a country are warped with many of the best and brightest going into money laundering/ finance, following the dollars available. Regardless we do need to do a better job keeping those that remain in engineering/science because the house of cards that is finance is going to crumble eventually and we as a country won't be left with much else when it does if we don't do something to help prop up the technology infrastructure. The country as a whole may be willing to throw away a generation of scientists by redirecting dollars elsewhere, but that doesn't mean we as educators have to be complicit in aiding and abetting this, albeit unintentionally. I for one am going to rethink how I interact with my students because this tough love approach may not be doing us any favours. And to all the perpetual postdoc PhDs out there, I do understand why you feel you were sold a bill of goods to join the academic science pyramid scheme. However, realize for most of you there are jobs out there, and in science, just not the ones you've spent 10+ years training yourself for (i.e. running your own lab), nor at the pay your deserve for the level of training and education you have. While that is by no means fair, the reward for all of us that stay in this endeavour, despite the pull of dollars elsewhere, is that you are doing something more meaningful for yourself, the US, and the world, than all the professional gamblers/money changers out there combined. Remember, a meaningful life is more than the $ amount in your bank account

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